Roma wing-back Leonardo Spinazzola is back in the Italian capital after a series of lengthy celebrations following Italy’s win at Wembley Stadium. The 28-year-old who suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in the match against Belgium will soon begin the recovery process at Trigoria. He was recently interviewed by Il Romanista and shared his thoughts on his eventual return to the pitch, what Mourinho brings to the table and his overall time at Roma.
When asked when he plans on returning, Spina did not hesitate:
“I’ll be back in November. By this I mean I want to be at the coach’s disposal already in November. In my mind there’s only that date, that month. Others have done it before me, I’ll give it a try myself then.”
“I’ll start working at Trigoria on the 2nd of August. That would be a full month after sustaining the injury. I’ll start by working on the mobility of the ankle under the supervision of the club’s physiotherapists. I want to get back into a routine and that’s the first step. But for six weeks I won’t be able to even place my foot on the floor. I’ll have to rely on crutches, but low effort at first. I admit, I can’t keep still: I already had the stitches taken out, and I can see an improvement.”
The Italian international then was asked whether that injury could have been avoided.
“Unfortunately no, it was inevitable. A series of things happened that lead up to it: the weight I applied on the tendon, the type of terrain we were playing on which was kind of sandy, and the sudden acceleration I made. Perhaps had I applied the same kind of weight and pressure on the tip of the foot, it wouldn’t have happened. Two months ago I underwent an MRI which showed a perfectly fine tendon. But that’s in the past. Now I’m focused on the future.”
The player then said about his positive outlook:
“I have a positive mindset. I’ve had it for the past two years or so.”
When asked whether he meant since the moment his transfer to Inter fell apart in early January 2020, he said:
“Yes, it hurt to hear people accusing me of being fragile and calling me lame. Since that episode I found the strength to show everyone who I really am. Now nothing frightens me.”
“The reality is that the only time I sustained a significant injury was the stupid, inflamed scar that kept me out against Ajax. After that I didn’t have enough time to recover before the clash against Manchester United.”
Spinazzola was then asked about the sudden change that took place that saw him become Roma and Italy’s staring wing-back and his improvement both going forward as well as tracking back.
“It happened because I started getting consistent playing time and was able to develop my game on the left flank. Already at Atalanta, before I signed for Juventus, I played on a similar level. I remember some amazing games i played against Borussia Dortmund and Lyon. But back then I played for Atalanta and there wasn’t much interest in me compared to now.”
“When I was given consistent playing time, I played well. It’s a shame that the team (Roma) suffered so many injuries over these last two years. I believe we could have achieved something special with Fonseca.”
“I still insist on the fact that without all those injuries, and had Fonseca been able to make the changes he wanted, the final result at Old Trafford would have been different.”
When asked about Roma finding his temporary replacement in Matías Viña and whether he was worried about losing his spot on the team’s roster, he said:
“Never. Quite the opposite, I’m happy. You can’t expect Riccardo Calafiori to play ever single game until I return. Viña is more than welcome. And who knows, maybe those who say I’ll be back in February are right…”
The player also shared his thoughts on Mourinho’s arrival.
“I spoke to him on the phone before the Euros tournament and then after I returned to Trigoria. I saw a training session and one friendly. I think he’s a very nice man. But you can instantly tell that he’s tough, he’s got game. From what my teammates told me, he’s left a big impression on everyone at the club.”
Asked about the Euros celebrations in the Italian capital, he said:
“I thought about it, and I even said it. Had we won with Roma, there would have been three times more people.”